CNN’s “Journalist of the Year” has now admitted he made up his reports.

Way to go, goobs.

Claas Relotius received two prestigious awards from CNN, though he didn’t work for the network. His fraud was discovered by German employer and magazine Der Spiegel, which has warned he made have also crafted phony stories for other publications.

According to Der Spiegel:

[Relotius], a reporter and editor, falsified his articles on a grand scale and even invented characters, deceiving both readers and his colleagues. This has been uncovered as a result of tips, internal research and, ultimately, a comprehensive confession by the editor himself.

Holy cow. That’s a whole lotta fakin’ it.

DS began to smell something fishy in November after Relotius reported on “an American vigilante group that patrols the border between Mexico and the United States.”

Relotius’s co-author noticed odd behavior and notified Der Spiegel, which then confronted him.

In an article by the magazine, the question of “What did Relotius fabricate” was answered thusly:

Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically and with criminal intent. For example, he included individuals in his stories who he had never met or spoken to, telling their stories or quoting them. Instead, he would reveal, he based the depictions on other media or video recordings. By doing so, he created composite characters of people who actually did exist but whose stories Relotius had fabricated. He also made up dialogue and quotes.

Geez Louise.

Relotius wasn’t exclusively contracted with DS:

Relotius first wrote for DER SPIEGEL as a freelancer, but he was employed as an editor for the past year and a half. Since 2011, just under 60 of his articles were published in DER SPIEGEL magazine or on SPIEGEL ONLINE. By his own admission, there are at least 14 articles in question that are at least in part fabrications. Is he to be believed? Could that figure actually be considerably higher? The only thing that can be stated with certainty right now is that the work in uncovering that has only just begun.

Among the articles in question are major features that have been nominated for or won journalism awards. For example:

“The last witness,” about an American who allegedly travels to an execution as a witness. The “Lion Children,” about two Iraqi children who have been kidnapped and re-educated by the Islamic State. And “Number 440,” a story about alleged prisoners at Guantanamo.

As for other media groups being affected:

That cannot be ruled out at this point in time. Relotius also worked for other media organizations in Germany and abroad. During his time as a freelance journalist, his work got published by other media including Cicero, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag, the Financial Times Deutschland, Die Tageszeitung, Die Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Weltwoche, Zeit Online and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Reportedly, Relotius told Der Spiegel, “I am sick and I need to get help.”

Claas Relotius was awarded CNN’s Journalist of the Year in 2014.

Again, my congratulations to goobers.

 

See 3 more pieces from me: Planned Parenthood says it’s a baby, Australia recognizes Jerusalem, and Melania gets angry.

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